Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) has successfully tested its ‘green’ drone. The drone, which was developed in collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Navy and the Dutch Coastguard, is powered by a combination of hydrogen and batteries. The added energy from the dual power sources enables the small aircraft to take off and land vertically from challenging locations, as well as to fly horizontally for longer durations and distances over both land and water.
The fully electric drone touts a wingspan of 3 meters, uses 12 motors and weighs right around 13 kg. Additionally, it’s fitted with a 300 bar, 6.8 liter carbon composite hydrogen cylinder. The cylinder feeds hydrogen at low pressure to the 800 W fuel cell that converts it to electricity. The only emissions are oxygen and water vapor. In addition to the fuel cell that supplies electricity to the motors, there’s also a set of batteries that, together with the fuel cell, provide extra power to the motors during the vertical takeoff and landing.